quad·​ri·​ple·​gic ˌkwä-drə-ˈplē-jik How to pronounce quadriplegic (audio)
: one affected with partial or complete paralysis of both the arms and legs especially as a result of spinal cord injury or disease in the region of the neck
quadriplegia noun

Did you know?

Quadriplegia is the result of injury or illness, almost always affecting the spine. Though a paraplegic has lost the use only of his or her legs, quadriplegics are paralyzed in all four limbs. Today voice-activated wheelchairs help the quadriplegic get around, and houses can be equipped with similar systems to operate lights and appliances; monkeys have even been trained to assist quadriplegics with everyday tasks. The work of the quadriplegic actor Christopher Reeve has led to remarkable advances in developing new nerve connections, enabling some determined paraplegics and quadriplegics to walk again.

Examples of quadriplegic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the state's 2nd Congressional District, the state’s treasurer, Seth Magaziner, is considered the front-runner and has been endorsed by Langevin, who was the first quadriplegic to serve in Congress. Jennifer McDermott, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Sep. 2022 In 1999, while wrestling for the WWE, Drozdov was involved in a tragic ring accident that rendered him a quadriplegic. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 30 June 2023 Ani, who appears in flashback scenes, was involved in a devastating accident that resulted in a new life as a double amputee and quadriplegic. Mary Colurso | McOlurso@al.com, al, 10 June 2023 Cruising Altitude:What to know about getting bumped from a flight when airlines overbook In addition to wheelchair damage, Birk, who is an incomplete quadriplegic, said the whole experience of flying was uncomfortable and clearly not optimized for passengers with mobility issues. Zach Wichter, USA TODAY, 14 May 2023 Split Second Fitness Crista Rock Photography A diving accident left Mark Raymond quadriplegic. Ben Court, Men's Health, 25 Apr. 2023 Yet for 20 seconds, a 57-year-old quadriplegic had produced an electro-cardiogram that resembled the peaks of a fine-toothed comb. Matt Hrodey, Discover Magazine, 5 Apr. 2023 That was the year Ricochet got on a surfboard with local quadriplegic surfer Patrick Ivison. Natallie Rocha, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Apr. 2023 The injuries from the gunshot would render Sadler quadriplegic and brain-damaged, said Britannica. Christine Rousselle, Fox News, 5 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'quadriplegic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


quadriplegia, from New Latin

First Known Use

1921, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of quadriplegic was in 1921

Dictionary Entries Near quadriplegic

Cite this Entry

“Quadriplegic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quadriplegic. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


quad·​ri·​ple·​gic ˌkwäd-rə-ˈplē-jik How to pronounce quadriplegic (audio)
: a person who is paralyzed in both arms and both legs

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
quad·​ri·​ple·​gic ˌkwäd-rə-ˈplē-jik How to pronounce quadriplegic (audio)
: of, relating to, or affected with quadriplegia
quadriplegic patients


2 of 2 noun
: one affected with quadriplegia

called also tetraplegic

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